And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
Once again, we take a break from Ordinary Time to focus on this special Solemnity only celebrated in our Holy Church, the Solemnity of the Christian Family.
While taking this break we, in a very special way, continue to study and commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus as His family. That is the essence of family, to be together as one in Jesus.
It may seem strange in our day; families are often separated by time, distance, and priorities.
In this separation, we tend to get caught up in the minutia. Certainly, some things are important like work and school, but when it comes down to it, there are plenty of opportunities to come together and strengthen the family.
We see this when the happy and tragic moments confront us. Someone is in the hospital, a baby or wedding shower, the wedding or christening, a funeral. A flood comes and we need to help our family. At these times you will surely find someone saying: We ought to get together more often, let’s have a reunion, let’s stay in contact. But then… missed opportunities. Strengthening each other requires more than occasional time together.
We heard that people were amazed at Jesus’ understanding and answers. In the various gospels we hear this theme repeated:
Matthew 7:28: …the crowds were astonished. Matthew 22:33: …they were astonished at His teaching. Mark 1:22: The people were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority. Mark 11:18: …they looked for a way to kill Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.
This astonishment or amazement is rendered existanto in Greek. People were changed in encountering Jesus, they saw things in a new and previously unheard-of ways.
The same existanto is used for those times people met the first Christians. Those encounters changed their lives and relationships.
Things are different because we, the Christian family, get together to strengthen each other in Christ. Jesus understands our need and gives us this place and each other as strong family, both at home and in the wider Body of Christ, so to live differently because of Him and amaze those we meet.